Authentic Russian folk instruments, including the balalaika, domra, bayan and gusli, hit the stage at the Theatre in Washington at 3 p.m. this Sunday (March 9). Tickets for the performance by the Washington Balalaika Society Orchestra are $25 ($10 ages 17 and younger). Contact the theatre at 540-675-1253 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
At 8 p.m. next Friday (March 14), the Rappahannock Association for the Arts and the Community (RAAC) welcomes acclaimed novelist Arthur Golden as the featured speaker at RAAC’s Second Friday at the Library Series.
Golden is the author of “Memoirs of a Geisha,” a huge international success that sat atop bestseller lists for more than a year, was made into a movie and lured readers around the globe. The program is free.
One of the rare books that readers devour and critics gush over, “Memoirs of a Geisha” was Golden’s first novel. In his talk, Golden will go behind the scenes of his book and explore, more generally, how writers create their stories.
Golden worked on “Memoirs of a Geisha” for 10 years, and his view is that what seems like magic — how writers invent worlds, or how an American man passes himself off as a Japanese woman — is actually craft. He’ll explore the novel-writing craft on March 14. For more information, visit raac.org.
This month, views across the woods, fields and mountains of Rappahannock County yield mostly single colors, with perhaps a hint of color appearing late in the month. So it will be at Middle Street Gallery in Sperryville through March 31, as the gallery’s “Monochrome” exhibit presents works of single colors or shades of black, white and gray.
The public is invited to the exhibit’s opening reception, 3 to 5 p.m. this Saturday (March 8) at Middle Street, inside Rappahannock Central at 3 River Lane in Sperryville. Light food and drink served.
The show includes works by new members of the artists’ cooperative Phyllis Northup and Rosabel Goodman, whose works on exhibit are tree-centric; Kathleen Willinham presents a pastel in pink and red background; Jo Levine chose two photographs of flowers with single colors; Wayne Paige chose pen and ink drawings “that represent a surreal view of nature where the inhabitants who resemble clothespins observe unnamed events.” Thomas Spande has nuanced black and white drawings of zoo elephants and a rhinoceros, and Gary Anthes’ images of snowy farm scenes reflect the monochromatic reality of the local landscape this week.
Middle Street is open 10 to 5 Friday-Sunday. Details at middlestreetgallery.org or 540-987-9330.
RAAC Community Theatre’s spring season kicks off the evenings of March 28 and 29 with two one-act plays: an old one and a brand new one.
“The Nose” (March 28), adapted from the story by the Russian author Nikolai Gogol, tells of a Russian official in the early 1800s whose nose leaves him and develops a life of its own, both walking and talking. The official is unable to get anyone in the government to help him find his nose. Gogol was a Ukrainian-born Russian dramatist, novelist and short story writer whose works are known for their satire, sophistication and unconventionality. More than 35 films have been adapted from his works; the most recent is “The Girl in the White Coat” (2011).
RAAC’s all-star cast, directed by Peter Hornbostel, includes Andy Platt, Mike Mahoney, Stephani Mastri, Sam Clifton, Brendan Martyn, Patty Hardee, Steve Carroll, Mimi Forbes, Annie Williams, Megan Smith and Joyce Abell.
“Company of One” (March 29) is the premiere public performance of the work by Virginia playwright Jane Dewberry; it took second-place honors at the 2012 Henrico Theatre Company’s One Act Playwright Competition. Set in World War II occupied France, the five-man comedy is a humorous take on a serious subject: How the Allies managed to keep the date of the Normandy Invasion secret from the Germans.
The cast — directed by Deverell Pedersen, niece of author Dewberry — includes Howard Coon, Mike Mahoney, Gary Grossman, Brendan Martyn and Carolyn Thornton.
Performances are 8 p.m. March 28-29 at RAAC’s theatre (310 Gay St., Washington) PM. Tickets are $15; visit raac.org for reservations.
The New West guitarists are indeed new to the Theatre in Washington — a venue in which guitar concerts are exceptionally popular. As sometimes happens at the Theatre, a knowledgeable member of the Theatre’s audience recommends a new artist and on occasion everything falls into place for a concert — as in this case, at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 16.
New West is Jeff Stein, John Storie and Perry Smith, who have been playing together since they were music students at the University of Southern California a decade ago, and its members say they’ve “tapped into . . . straight-ahead jazz roots to develop a sound that embraces various shades of folk, country, rock and pop.” Fans of their recordings cite the trio’s “beautiful acoustic rhythms, vibrant classically infused single-note lines and jazzy arpeggios cover the magnificent musical landscape these three players create,” as Metronome magazine put it.
Based in L.A. and New York, New West tours extensively throughout the U.S. for concerts and master classes. The musicians perform on both acoustic and electric guitars and play popular covers, jazz standards and, in their words, “crafty original songs.”
Tickets are $25 ($10 ages 17 and younger). Contact the theatre at 540-675-1253 or email@example.com.
A unique exhibition of work by Thomas Mullany — to follow his presentation for RAAC’s “Soup and Soul” series March 15 — opens March 16 with an all-day open house in the R.H. Ballard Gallery, 307 Main St. in Washington. The show — “The Figure: Studies on Found Paper, Paintings & Sculpture,” which incorporates three disciplines focusing on the figure — runs through April 6; Ballard’s open house is 10 to 6 p.m.
Rappahannock’s annual “Community Clean-Up” — removing trash from Rappahannock County roadsides, unsightly and illegal dump sites and Rappahannock River watershed tributaries — is once again underway. Citizens, property owners, families, churches, schools, scout groups, businesses and other organizations are encouraged to participate in the annual “spring cleaning” of the county by taking the time to pick up trash and debris, bag it and communicate with clean-up coordinator Hunt Harris and local VDOT crews regarding specific pick-up locations.
Participants can pick up VDOT’s sturdy orange bags at the VDOT headquarters next to the Flatwood Transfer and Recycling facility on Rock Mills Road — or use your own bags. To contact VDOT about a specific pickup location request, call 540-987-8939. To get orange bags, with a specific designated pick-up location in mind, contact Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-987-8888.